by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Republican lawmakers are requesting Washington, D.C., Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser “immediately rename” Black Lives Matter Plaza in the nation’s capital over groups in the left-wing movement boosting Hamas after the terror group murdered innocent Israelis.
BLM has come under the national spotlight on the heels of chapters across the United States expressing sympathy for the Palestinian terror group Hamas, which on Oct. 7 attacked the Jewish state of Israel, killing, raping, and abducting civilians. Bowser is now being asked by 25 GOP senators and House members to not only change the name of the plaza but remove a street mural there and “end the city’s celebration of this terrorist sympathizer group,” according to a letter sent Monday evening.
“BLM continues to openly celebrate the antisemitic Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel,” the lawmakers, led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), wrote to Bowser. “This stance is irreconcilable with American values. America must clearly affirm its stance against antisemitism, wherever it appears.”
BLM Plaza is a two-block pedestrian section near the White House that received its name after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. It features 35-foot-tall yellow letters spelling “Black Lives Matter,” and construction costs were estimated at $7.8 million, the Washington Post reported.
The GOP letter noted that BLM Chicago recently posted a graphic on social media of a Hamas terrorist in a paraglider with the caption, “I stand with Palestine.” It also said that BLM in Washington, D.C., “posted that Israel is guilty of ‘apartheid,’ while sharing posts that cast doubt on the atrocities that took place on Oct. 7, including the beheading of babies.”
The Republicans slammed BLM Grassroots, which has 26 chapters and referred to the deadly Hamas attack in mid-October as a “desperate act of self-defense,” as an entity that “threw its support behind these murderous attacks.”